Hike to the Johnston Canyon Cave

    4.4
    3.4 miles 700 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

    Added by Tiffany Nguyen

    Johnston Canyon is one of Alberta’s many gems. Located in Banff national park, this stunning waterfall hike is a quick 3.4 miles roundtrip.

    It’s amazing how much varied scenery you see over the course of the very short 1.7 mile hike. Follow the catwalks through the canyon as the stunning turquoise water flows below. If you’re feeling up for a longer hike, you can continue along the trail to the Ink Pots (makes for a great winter hike!), which is an additional 3.6 miles. To avoid the crowds, it is highly recommended to start this hike early in the morning or later in the afternoon.

    To get to Johnston Canyon, simply follow the Bow Valley Parkway west to Johnston Canyon for about 11 miles. You’ll find the parking lot on the east side where you’ll then follow the footbridge to the trailhead. The trail begins immediately past the lodge with a gradual ascent.

    Shortly, you’ll come to Lower Falls that has several very unique vantage points. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are a few areas along the trail where some off-trail exploring will take you to some amazing spots. The Johnston Canyon cave is one of the most photographed locations in Alberta. Pay attention between Lower and Upper Falls and you’ll see an easy to follow trail that leads you to this incredible spot. Shortly after the cave, you’ll reach Upper Falls which features an impressive 30 meter drop.

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    Hiking
    Scenic
    Waterfall

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    Reviews

    Rate this Adventure

    Watch out for bears!

    I hiked this very popular and well-used trail with my parents in August, and on our way down the hill we were confronted by bear 136 "Split Lip". He's the second largest male grizzly in the park and he followed us up the trail (blocking our way down) for a solid two miles. It was terrifying, we couldn't get around him until he decided to leave us alone. But a beautiful hike nonetheless!

    Respect the Park

    I think saying the cave is one of the most photographed locations in Alberta is a bit of a stretch.. Johnson Canyon is a great hike but staying on trail is recommended everywhere in Banff National Park, especially popular hikes like this one.

    🥈 Contributor

    almost 4 years ago

    Wow

    This is the most breathtaking hike to an amazing waterfall. Near the end of the first falls you can actually go through a hole in the wall and get sprayed by the falls. I definitely recommend going early in the morning as it's a huge tourist attraction and the trail is narrow. To get the early definitely check out the campground across the road. It's a great place to stay but books up fast!!

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    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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